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Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesday: The Little Rocket that Could

May 17, 2011

Avert your eyes, space travelers, because we're going to get this explosions going early and you are going to swear off your intended mode of travel in about thirteen seconds. Behold the mighty spectacle of your GPS not working quite so well as it could:

Now that, my good people, is what blowing shit up is all about! *pauses for a second* Let's completely forget about the amount of money that went up in one incendiary flash of rocket-fuel and liquid oxygen. Did you totally see how that shit was raining down from above? All fire and brimstone and you'd think Loki had picked his flaming sword back up and was going all Sodom and/or Gomorrah on the Cape! Destruction of that magnitude is the most exhausting thing anyone can engage in, aside from soccer.

Think about this for a moment: you're an average Joe rocket scientist. The world to you is all force vectors and Greek letters and silly shit like that. You drive to work, minding your own business, proud of the fact that you're going to put a new GPS satellite into space so that fathers driving their families on vacations don't have to stop and ask for directions when--WHAMMO!--you've been knocked on your ass by a concussive shock wave tearing through the sky five times the speed of sound. Your ears are bleeding from the force of the noise that just ripped through your skull like a bullet through wet tissue paper. The sky is on fire, and it's headed toward you. You're dazed. You're confused. And every year, they stay the same age!

Well, damn, you think. Chalk one more up to combustion kicking the living hell out of potential energy today. I guess it's back to the drawing board! This is, of course, after you've jammed wadded-up kleenex in your ears to stem the flow of blood and pulled your eyes out of your hippocampus where the force of the blast wedged them. Firmly.

I think I'll just go to lunch and we can sweep this thing up and start anew, you continue thinking, gathering the charred remains of your briefcase. You blow out one piece of paper which is still, comically, aflame. You pull on the tattered remnants of your blazer and you head out to the parking lot where you climb into your car only to realize that the wheels are melted to the ground. And Steve Martin is riding shotgun.

"Hello, Bob," you say, after dialing your cell phone and becoming mildly peeved that you're getting less than ideal reception, tiny pieces of GPS satellite slowly spiraling around you, "yeah, I'm going to need you to come out to the parking lot of my place of employment. I think I've totaled my car. Yeah, see you soon. Buh-bye."

And this is just, to quote the dispatcher, "an anomaly of the Delta II launch vehicle." Imagine if a real meddlesome headscratcher had occurred.

Granted, this can be turned amusing based on no one getting injured, which is fucking amazing. In case you missed the cause of the explosion, they determined a seventeen-inch long crack in one of the boosters caused some fuel to leak, a flame to get in, some oxygen to comingle up in that bidness, and then BOOM HEAD SHOT!

I guess it's true what they say: Crack kills.


SkylersDad said...

That was a damned impressive explosion, er... anomaly.

I remember seeing that played about a thousand times on the discovery channel, and getting a little wood each time.

Perhaps I've shared too much (backs away)